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No joke: Shenzhen baby lives up to ancient Chinese curse, born sans anus

Posted: 06/26/2012 7:00 am

One of the worst insults in the Chinese language is, “I hope your child is born without an anus,” according to Wikipedia. But a blue-collar family in Shenzhen have met a fate that few would wish on anyone. Warning, this news report contains some graphic content.

A baby was born in Shenzhen’s Bao’an District with an imperforate anus, according to The Daily Sunshine. The parents need 100,000 yuan to pay for surgery to cure the defect. The condition describes when a baby is born without a normal rectal opening, or when the rectal opening is abnormally placed. When a reporter from the paper visited the baby in hospital in Shajing Subdistrict on Sunday morning, he saw the baby being breastfed by his mother Chen Xiuyu, and noticed that an incision had been made in the baby’s stomach through which he could defecate.

According to the father Zhou Shaohe, the baby Cheng Wei was born after a Caesarian section around 11 a.m. on June 8. The family’s joy quickly turned to anguish when the doctor explained that the baby had an abnormality that would require surgery to fix. The following day, the infant was taken to Shenzhen Children’s Hospital where the incision was made. Zhou and Chen are seeking donations to help pay for the surgery, which cost an estimated 10,000 yuan.

Zhou comes from Yongzhou in Hunan Province. “I have three brothers, and all the others are mentally ill. My father lost his battle with long-term illness last year, and I still haven’t paid off his medical fees,” said Zhou. He also cares for his 60 year-old mother who has a history of mental illness.

Zhou works in a factory in Shajing, and is thought to earn around 2,000 yuan a month. Chen is a housewife.

The condition is found in about 1 in 1500 births in China, and is more common in boys than in girls, the paper said. The necessary surgery is quite straightforward with a high success rate, about 90% of infants who go through the procedure go on to have normal lives. A small minority will develop bowel conditions.

Cases of the condition have increased in recent years. This has been attributed to environmental degradation and unhealthy lifestyles.

To find out how to donate, call Shenzhen Children’s Hospital at 8393-6101

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